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Issue 7, 2013
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Topology optimization of robust superhydrophobic surfaces

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In this paper we apply topology optimization to micro-structured superhydrophobic surfaces for the first time. It has been experimentally observed that a droplet suspended on a brush of micrometric posts shows a high static contact angle and low roll-off angle. To keep the fluid from penetrating the space between the posts, we search for an optimal post cross-section that minimizes the vertical displacement of the liquid–air interface at the base of the drop when a pressure difference is applied. Topology optimisation proves effective in this framework, showing that posts with a branching cross-section are optimal, which is consistent with several biologic strategies to achieve superhydrophobicity. Through a filtering technique, we can also control the characteristic length scale of the optimal design, thus obtaining geometries feasible via standard lithography.

Graphical abstract: Topology optimization of robust superhydrophobic surfaces

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Sep 2012, accepted on 06 Dec 2012 and first published on 07 Jan 2013

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2SM27214H
Soft Matter, 2013,9, 2234-2238

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    Topology optimization of robust superhydrophobic surfaces

    A. Cavalli, P. Bøggild and F. Okkels, Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 2234
    DOI: 10.1039/C2SM27214H

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